September 9, 2008
I’ve bought a new flask from the Turkish Discount Store at the bottom of our street – it’s between Fri-Chik and the Hoolywood Grill (sic) and its owner sits outside all day watching traffic and looking glum.
Thermos flasks – along with teapots – have wedged themselves into my imagination as symbols. For what? Well, for a kind of ritualised letting go. Dothing nothing much, at least for a quarter of an hour. There’s a dreaminess that comes in those times out of time, when everything you thought you had to do seems really rather insignificant. The only truly meaningful thing to do is to sit and watch the sky, perhaps making gentle conversation or just in silence, and to sip piping hot tea.
Tea tastes even better outside and that’s where a thermos really comes into its own. It means freedom. When you’ve got your flask you can go anywhere. You’re close to nature, but not so close you let go of the essentials, essentials like Darjeeling or Earl Grey.